Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway is a 60-million-year-old story of science. Or is it?
A set of volcanic rock formations that are completely surreal: Near-perfect hexagon tubes are stacked next to each other like puzzle pieces. Something this organised couldn’t be the result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, could it?
Well, there are two lines of thought on that one. The first involves a certain giant by the name of Finn McCool!
The Mythical approach
The story goes that Finn is having trouble with someone across the water. The Scottish giant Benandonner is threatening Ireland. An enraged Finn grabs chunks of the Antrim coast and throws them into the sea. The rock forms a path for Finn to follow and teach Benandonner a lesson.
Bad idea – Benandonner is terrifyingly massive. Finn beats a hasty retreat, followed by the giant, only to be saved by our hero’s quick-thinking wife who disguised him as a baby. The angry Scot saw the baby and decided if the child was that big, the daddy must be really huge.
The Scientific approach
Time for the science! The Giant’s Causeway is the aftermath of volcanic crashing, burning and cooling, an epic 60-million-year-old legacy to lava. Over 40,000 basalt columns. Interlocked.
Whatever you choose to believe, there’s no disputing that the Causeway makes a pretty picture. Thousands of tourists click their cameras here every year.
For more tours, why not visit Legends of the North?